Friday, November 04, 2005

Hard Core Homeschooler

Today I met for a play date with a couple of ladies from our church. We all homeschool, except one who just sent her oldest to a local classical christian school. So, they asked me whether or not I'd ever send my kids off to school. The answer is that it would be my absolute last resort. I taught middle school English at a private Christian school for two years before I got married. I saw some really great homeschooled children come into a very secular society of young kids. Most of these kids professed Christianity but were living very much like non-believers. They dressed like a Brittany Spears or Kevin Federline wannabe, and their influence over each other was to become more and more concerned with their appearances and the opposite sex rather than becoming more God focused.

As a teacher I also know that I was not as concerned with each child's academic progress as I should have been. This was due to the sheer volume of work that was laid upon me and the fact that I just could not keep up with the needs of fifty different people. I felt terrible for these parents who were paying so much money for top quality education for their children when I knew that the kids really needed more individual attention than I could possibly give them.

Now, there have been enough humbling moments as a parent that I have learned to never say never. I remember as a single person, wathcing other people's children and thinking, "If my child were whining like that, I would certainly spank them." Now, however, as much as I try to discipline in a biblical fashion, I've heard myself excusing behavior and saying things like, "Oh, he just really needs a nap," while inside dying of embarassment. So, I'm not foolish enough to think I know everything about everything, and there may be extenuating circumstances that I can't even imagine now where I would enroll my children in a school. However, I know what I've seen and experienced and I know what I want for my children. So, just like in other things, when things get hard I will try to look first for other solutions to obstacles rather than giving in to a compromise of my beliefs. I would rather pay a maid, than pay someone to teach my children for me. I would rather they graduate later, than have them graduate at a school. And contrary to what an old college roommate of mine suggested tonight, I will continue to homeschool even if I no longer "just love it, because that's all that matters."


norwester said...

If I ever came to place where I had to put my kids in school, it would be just devistating. I can't imagine it. I would rather live off roots in the mountains. :(